Origin of the vietnamese people

According to ancient myth the Vietnamese are descended from dragons and fairies. When the Dragon Lord of the Lac fathered a hundred children by a mountain princess of fairy blood named Au Co, he returned to the sea with half their offspring while she settled in the midlands of the Red River with the other half. One of these children became the first king of the Vietnamese people, the first of the eighteen Hung kings featured in so many myths and legends and venerated in village shrines into the twentieth century. The last Hung king is said to have committed suicide in 257 BCE after being defeated by a neighboring chieftain to the north; this led to the creation of the new kingdom of Au Lac. With the aid of a Golden Turtle spirit, the new king, An Duong, built a magnificent citadel at Co Loa, near present-day Hanoi. (Jamieson, pg.7)
The Dragon Lord of the Lac served as protector of the kingdom under the Hung kings, as the Golden Turtle spirit guarded the realm of Au Lac. As the potent kings of the early kingdom and other cultural heroes joined the spirit world after death, they too became powerful spirits whose aid and sympathy could be evoked by subsequent generations in time of need. The historical memory of the Hung kings and King An Duong was transmitted over centuries not only in myth and legend but through the physical presence of hundreds of village shrines and altars. Before these visible emblems of ancient glory, rituals periodically bound the people to their shared past and to each other.

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